Local business offers employees money to quit smoking

$500 being offered to workers

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A Bakersfield business owner is encouraging employees to live a healthier lifestyle by offering a cash incentive to quit smoking.

Leaders with Econo Air know that it’s hard to quit smoking cold turkey, but they’re learning having a smoke-free environment does have its benefits.

It’s one of the best decisions Daniel Frye has ever made.

“I gave it up and three months later I didn’t want a cigarette anymore. It’s been three years now and still no cigarettes,” said Frye.

Frye has smoked since he was a teenager and says he began seeing the benefits of kicking the habit almost immediately.

“What I do is very hot, very strenuous. We find ourselves in some extreme conditions. It’s a lot easier to breathe, my stamina has increased twice, and it’s awesome,” he said.

Gary Flanagan is the president of Econo Air and the man behind the challenge.  He offers employees five-hundred dollars if they quit smoking for a short period of time.

“I figure if they quit after three months, they quit for good and pretty much everybody has,” he said.

The consequences of smoking hits close to home and are the reasons for Flanagan’s offer to help his employees.

“I lost a few family members for that very reason and a short time ago, my best friend.  So, exactly that’s what that was from smoking,” said Flanagan.

Although it’s costing Flanagan money to help his workers, he’s noticing employees who kick the habit are more productive and not only are customers noticing, but so are family members. 

“It’s good. It’s worth the money. It’s better you do it for yourself but that was an incentive to do it though for my family and myself pretty much,” said employee, Jason Coffee.

Much of the success behind the challenge, workers say is having the support of fellow co-workers are also want lead healthier lives.  

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